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Question Period Senator Jane Cordy February 26th, 2015

Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, we learned last week that since 2006, this government has spent over $2.3 million on contracting photographers to take pictures of cabinet ministers at ribbon cuttings, government announcements and other events.

This averages about $250,000 a year on contracts for outside photographers - these are outside photographers - when several departments, including the Prime Minister's Office, already employ staff photographers. In fact, this Prime Minister employs three photographers in his office, whereas in the past, prime ministers have had one official photographer. I'm not quite sure why you would need three, whether or not the Prime Minister can be in three places at one time, or whether it's to take pictures of the Prime Minister from three different angles.

In one instance, $13,000 - I repeat, $13,000 - was spent to hire a photographer to take pictures of John Baird when he was at the United Nations. That $13,000 was probably more than the cost of the whole trip.

Why were staff photographers not used? Is any kind of cost analysis performed by this government to determine whether hiring an outside photographer would be less expensive or more expensive than using a staff photographer? What is the government's policy on contracting for photographers to take pictures of cabinet ministers?

Please click here to read the full text of Senator Cordy's question and the Government's response